Drawing on first person accounts, Asia in the Making of Christianity studies conversion in the lives of Christians throughout Asia, past and present. Fifteen contributors treat perennial questions about conversion: continuity and discontinuity, conversion and communal conflict, and the politics of conversion. Some study individuals (An Chunggŭn of Korea, Liang Fa of China, Nehemiah Goreh of India), while others treat ethnolinguistic groups or large-scale movements. Converts sometimes appear as proto-nationalists, while others are suspected of cultural treason. Some transition effortlessly from leadership in one religious community into Christian ministry, while others re-convert to new forms of Christianity. The accounts collected here underscore the complexity of conversion, balancing individual agency with broader social trends and combining micro- with macrocontextual approaches.
Richard Fox Young holds the Timby Chair in History of Religions at Princeton Theological Seminary. Resistant Hinduism (1981), The Bible Trembled (1995), and Vain Debates (1996) are his most widely-cited monographs on the encounter of Hindus and Buddhists with Christianity.
Jonathan A. Seitz is Assistant Professor, Taiwan Theological Seminary. A PhD graduate of Princeton Theological Seminary (2007), he is editing and annotating the early biography of Liang Fa by George H. McNeur. His next project is a study of Protestant sinology.
List of Figures
INTRODUCTION - Richard Fox Young and Jonathan A. Seitz
PART I: Continuity in Change, Change in Continuity
1. EARLY CHRISTIAN CONVERSION IN SEVENTEENTH-CENTURY COCHINCHINA - Nola Cooke
2. TRANSLATING SPIRITS: PROTESTANTS, POSSESSIONS, AND THE GRAMMARS OF CONVERSION IN SHANDONG PROVINCE - Richard Burden
3. PREACHING (CHUAN), WORSHIPPING (BAI), AND BELIEVING (XIN):RECASTING THE CONVERSIONARY PROCESS IN SOUTH CHINA - Joseph Tse-Hei Lee
4. CONVERSION TO MISSION CHRISTIANITY AMONG THE KACHIN OF UPPER BURMA, 1877-1972 - La Seng Dingrin
5. HAVE THE MITDES GONE SILENT? CONVERSION, RHETORIC, AND THE CONTINUING IMPORTANCE OF THE LOWER DEITIES IN NORTHEAST INDIA - Erik de Maaker
PART II: Conflicted Meanings, Meaningful Conflicts
6. FRAGILITY AND DURABILITY IN EARLY DIASPORIC CHINESE PROTESTANTISM - Jonathan A. Seitz
7. CONVERSION WITHOUT “COMMOTION”: REV. LAL BEHARI DAY’S CHANDRAMUKHIR UPAKHYAN (STORY OF CHANDRAMUKHI) - Sipra Mukherjee
8. LOSS AND/OR GAIN: AN ‘INTELLECTUALIST’ CONVERSION AND ITS SOCIO-COGNITIVE CALCULUS IN THE HINDU-CHRISTIAN LIFE OF NEHEMIAH GOREH, BENARES BRAHMIN - Richard Fox Young
9. THE ENIGMA OF CHRISTIAN CONVERSION IN MODERN JAPAN: THE CASE OF TWO BUDDHIST PRIESTS - Gregory Vanderbilt
10. BECOMING FAITHFUL: CONVERSION, SYNCRETISM, AND THE INTERRELIGIOUS HERMENEUTICAL STRATEGIES OF THE ‘”FAITHFUL OF JESUS” (ISA IMANDARS) - Jonas Adelin Jørgensen
PART III: The Politics of Conversion and the Conversion of Politics
11. DOES THE DIVINE PHYSICIAN HAVE AN UNFAIR ADVANTAGE? HEALING AND THE POLITICS OF CONVERSION IN TWENTIETH-CENTURY INDIA - Chad M. Bauman
12. CONVERSION AND MORAL AMBIGUITY: AN CHUNGGŬN, NATIONALISM AND THE CATHOLIC CHURCH IN LATE NINETEENTH AND EARLY TWENTIETH CENTURY KOREA - Franklin Rausch
13. CONNECTING DISCONNECTIONS: TROUBLING MEANINGS OF CHRISTIAN CONVERSION IN IMPERIAL NORTH INDIA - Rhonda Semple
14. THE ILLUSION OF CONVERSION: SIVA MEETS MARY AT VELANKANNI, SOUTHERN INDIA - Matthias Frenz
15. CONVERSION TO CHRISTIANITY AMONG THE THAI AND SINO-THAI OF MODERN THAILAND: GROWTH, EXPERIMENTATION, AND NETWORKING IN THE CONTEMPORARY CONTEXT - Edwin Zehner
Those interested in Christianity in Asia, world Christianity, the theory and methodology of conversion, anthropology of Christianity, comparative studies of religion, mission studies, or Asian religions.